Boys roundup: Turner’s clutch free throws send Jeffers past Houghton

PAINESDALE — Not many people get the chance to play against their former coach and even fewer get to win. But Jeffers coach Trent Keteri did just that. Keteri, who is in his first year on the job, played for Houghton’s Jared Lawson when he was in high school, and on Tuesday in a nonleague conference matchup, Keteri and Jeffers beat Lawson and the visiting Gremlins 44-42.

“Lawson was the reason I wanted to be a coach,” Keteri said. “The way he treated us and connected with us made it feel like he was more than just there to show us how to play basketball. Everyone loved him as a coach and a person, and that is what I am trying to do with my kids.”

One of those “kids,” senior Carson Turner, did everything in his power to get Keteri a win over his mentor. Turner had 14 points, nine steals, eight rebounds and seven assists. 

And to cap it off, he hit two free throws at the end of regulation to give Jeffers (7-6) the two-point victory in a tight contest. For Keteri, it was the perfect summation of the player Turner has progressed into this season.

“Everyone knows Carson can score,” he said “But the last couple of games he has been the facilitator and defensive machine that has been keeping this team rolling … Him hitting those free throws right at the end is a big confidence-booster for himself and our whole squad.”

Turner had plenty of help when it came to keeping the game close. Austin Kinnunen nailed a 3-pointer with one minute to go, cutting the Houghton (5-9) lead to one, and Brett Hill had several crucial defensive stops and layups to keep Jeffers close throughout the second half. Hill scored 12 points in the contest.

Jeffers also held Houghton’s leading scorer, Brad Sirard to 13 points, while George Butvilas had 13 as well. 

The Jets outscored the Gremlins 17-4 in the fourth quarter. 

Next up, Jeffers Travels to Chassell on Friday at 7:20 p.m. Houghton takes on Hancock on Friday at 5:30 p.m. for the Wing Ding. 

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Houghton 10 10 18 4 — 42

Jeffers 14 4 8 17 — 44

Houghton — Keskimaki 7, Butvilas 13, Majilessi 7, Sirard 13, Hyslop 2. F: 17. Fouled out: None. Free throws: 14-27. 3-point field goals: Sirard 2.

Jeffers — Kinnunen 3, Wakeham 6, Heineken 5, Hill 12, Turner 14, Jukkala 4. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: Jukkala. Free throws: 10-15. 3-point field goals: Kinnunen, Wakeham 2, Turner 3. 

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LAKE LINDEN — Lake Linden-Hubbell (4-10, 4-8)  jumped out to a 13-point lead in the first quarter on the way to a 61-47 victory over Copper Mountain opponent Republic-Michigamme, Tuesday in Lake Linden.

The start was the difference in the game,” LL-H coach Jack Kumpula said. “It was important for us to get off to a fast start so we could relax and play.”

Carter Crouch led the way for LL-H with 20 points, Caleb Gregoire had 16 and Ben Wilson added 12.

Next up, the Lakes host L’Anse on Friday at 7:20 p.m.

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R-M 3 15 14 15 — 47

LL-H 16 8 14 23 — 61

Republic — Schumate 11, Hanmmen 4, Ball 21, Carlson 7, Oldender 4. F: 14. Free throws: 16-22. 3-point field goals: Schumate.

LL-H — Crouch 20, Hainault 1, Caleb Gregoire 19, Cole Gregoire 6, Hill 6, Wilson 12. F: 18. Fouled out: Hill. 3-point field goals: Crouch.